Summertime wrap-up, May to August, Part I
LAHAINA – May saw four blue marlin over 400 pounds hitting the scales (471.2, 515.6, 535.3, 536.4), bringing the monthly blue total to nine. Another blue was released.
There were also two striped marlin weighed. The shortnose spearfish dominated the month with 20 brought in – the most during any month this year. One rare sailfish was also weighed. Two swordfish were caught on Lanai. The monthly billfish total came to 35.
There were four nice yellowfin tuna over 100 pounds (222.2, 160.9, 158.8, 144.8) found in the porpoise schools off the backside of Lanai.
It was a slow June billfish bite with only 17 fish being weighed – the second lowest total to date. There were only five blue marlin weighed (tied for lowest of the year-to-date), the largest weighing 437.6 pounds. There were two striped marlin and ten shortnose spearfish landed.
The constant windy weather kept the fleet inside the ledge a better part of the month, with a few paying the price to head out to the buoys.
The mahi MC-Buoy bite kept the boats busy that made the venture, with several hundred hitting the dock, most in the eight-to 12-pound range.
July was a pretty good month for all flag fish in Lahaina. It was the best month for blue marlin since September 2011, with 11 being weighed – the largest weighing 915.0 and 513.9 pounds – and another three tagged or released. There were also three shortnose spearfish weighed, bringing the monthly billfish total to 17.
It was the best month for ahi over 100 pounds since June 2009, with 13 hitting the scales. The largest weighed 200.0, 198.0 and 167.8 pounds. There were also several dozen shibi (smaller tuna) landed in the 30- to 50-pound range from the JJ-Buoy off the backside of Kaho’olawe. For the other flag fish, there were 525 mahi and 121 ono recorded.
The billfish numbers dropped almost 50 percent from July to August, with only six blue marlin weighed, the largest at 608.6 pounds. Another two were tagged or released. Two shortnose spearfish were weighed, bringing the monthly billfish total to ten – tied for lowest total of the year to date.
Three ahi over 100 pounds were weighed – the largest at 198.7-pounds and third largest of the year-to-date. For the other flag fish, there were 248 mahi and 90 ono recorded.
The May through August blue marlin numbers saw 31 weighed with eight over 400 pounds. (437.6, 471.2, 513.9, 515.6, 535.3, 536.4, 608.6, 915.0). Another six were tagged or released, bringing the blue marlin total to 37.
May was the best month for blues over 400 pounds during this period with four being weighed (471.2, 515.6, 535.3, 536.4).
There were four striped marlin caught, 35 shortnose spearfish and one sailfish weighed. This brought the four-month billfish total to 77.
The Ikaika Kai landed a monster blue marlin during July, weighing 915 pounds by wahine angler Charlotte Smith. She was assisted by friend Atul Madan and Captains Neil Preston and Kamal Pfeifle.
It is the largest weighed marlin on Maui since 2008. It is the seventh largest by a Lahaina charter sportfishing boat and the 14th largest for Lahaina and Maalaea harbors since 1972.
The Ikaika Kai also boated the largest blue marlin by a wahine angler so far this year, weighing 536.4 pounds by Jerry Mae Heiter. She was fishing with Capt. Neil Preston and deckman Jimmy Francis.
The Genesis took first place during the Lahaina Yacht Club Spring Wahine Tournament in May with a record-sized striped marlin, weighing 170.3 pounds, by Wendy Rose. She was fishing with Capt. Bob Schnoor and crew James Blanton.
Wendy’s striped marlin is the largest by a wahine angler since I started keeping stats in 1983. It is also the sixth largest documented striped marlin for Lahaina and Maalaea harbors. The Lahaina and Maalaea Harbor record is 188.4 pounds from 2006.